New Delhi: In a cautionary move, the Supreme Court has ruled out that unscrupulous elements should not be allowed to "disguise" PILs to settle personal scores.

The Apex Court has upheld the extension granted to the special officer of Tirupati temple by the Tirumala Tirupathi Devesthanam Board.

The court found fault with the Andhra Pradesh High Court for entertaining the PIL filed by Mangati Gopal Reddy, a devotee challenging the extension granted by the Board to Special Officer P Seshadri.

The controversy relates to the misuse of funds and, in particular, loss of 300 gold dollars each weighing 5 grams in August, 2008. Sheshadri retired on July 31, 2006 but was given five years extension thereafter, Reddy had alleged.
 
Justice Sudershan Reddy said, “The high court ought to have satisfied itself with regard to the credentials of respondent no 1 before entertaining the writ petition that was styled as public interest litigation. Respondent no1 had merely pleaded that he moved the writ petition as he is a devotee of Lord Venkateswara.”

A bench of justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar in a judgement said, “Motivated PILs ought to be dismissed in beginning to prevent vested interests and busybodies from misusing judicial forums in such matters.”

Justice Sudarshan Reddy said, "The credentials, the motive and the objective of the petitioner have to be apparently and patently above board. Otherwise the petition is liable to be dismissed at the threshold.”

The court had passed the order on Reddy's PIL which alleged that the extension was granted despite Sheshadri is facing corruption charges.

Disagreeing with the high court's finding that the extension was contrary to the regulations, the Supreme Court said the rule applies to every employee "except to the officers or staff taken on contract basis and officers or staff taken on deputation from the government or other organisations.”


(Agencies)